Showing posts with label hiring. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hiring. Show all posts

Monday, February 6, 2023

How do Employers Verify a Degree?

Do you know exactly how, and more importantly why, employers verify their applicants’ degree, graduation, or other education?

This question was recently posted on a popular Q & A site and we decided to weigh in…

“How do employers check for degrees?”

“Verifying a degree / graduation is one of the easiest and most basic things checked by most employers. The best source for this information is to contact the university / school directly. Most records are held by either the Registrar department or, especially in the case of high schools, in the Guidance or Student Records department. If your only need is to verify the degree, and not a person’s full academic record, it is sometimes possible to verify that verbally. There are times when the information needs to be faxed or mailed and they will then require a nominal fee. 

However, if more in depth information is needed, or the institution has contracted with an outside verification service, you will have to follow that service’s steps in order to get the information you need. Oftentimes these services will require a fee to access the information and sometimes a signed release from the subject of the search is also needed (which you should always obtain before any background check anyway). No matter the method, verifying any degree, graduation, or professional certificate claimed by an applicant is key to making a sound hiring decision. Not only will it help assess their training, knowledge, and qualifications, it will also go a long way towards verifying an applicant’s honesty ~ and that is a goal of any good background check.”

You can find more answers to this question here!

Verifying an applicant’s education is a great first step in evaluating any prospective employee ~ and a good employer understands this.

Hiring someone who lies about their education or training can pose numerous problems for any business. 

It can lead to having an employee who is unqualified for the job. Or, if and when that lie is discovered, it can tarnish a company’s reputation with their clients, customers, and other businesses. 

Doing a simple Education verification check solves these problems.

“Education is one of the most frequently embellished ~ face it, lied about ~ items on a resume. The lie can range from the type of degree earned to whether a degree was even earned at all.

And if having a degree, especially a specific degree, is necessary to the job you are hiring for, then making sure your applicant indeed fills that requirement is good business.

For some jobs, having a degree may not be necessary. In that case companies are more concerned that their applicants have at least earned their high school diplomas or a GED.

Either way, it is important that you take the time to verify that the education listed by your applicant is true.

It should be the first step in making sure they have the training your position needs”.

Find out more about why businesses need to verify an applicant’s education and what they will find in “Hiring? Why You need to verify their Degree First”!

It is clear that doing an education verification before making any new hire is in a company’s best interests. But it is equally as important for anyone looking for a job to realize that any resume lie can, and often will, come back to haunt them.

Those lies can not only keep you from getting hired in the first place, but when discovered, can lead to getting fired and ruining your reputation.

Anyone looking for a job needs to be aware that Background Checks are the norm, not the exception.

“Be assured, employers are checking. Verifying the information on your resume is common practice and part of most company’s hiring processes. Investigating your education, past employments, and skills top the list. 

It is time to take note ~when your resume lies are uncovered during the hiring process, you lose.  

And, if discovered later, you could face not only the embarrassment of getting fired, but also the possibility of public humiliation”.

When it comes to Resume Lies that will keep you from getting hired or can result in you being fired, “lying about your degree or skills tops the list”. 

Employers fear hiring someone who is unable or unsafe to do the job. That is why it is important that at least the basic skills and training you list are truthful.

Lying on your resume is seen as a mark against your honesty. 

Employers want to hire someone they can trust. If their first impression of you is one of deception, then your chances of getting hired are slim

Discover more about the dangers of lying on your resume in “Employers Share ~ Lie on your Resume and You Lose!".

So, whether you are an employer looking to make a new hire or an applicant hoping to land the perfect new job, checking an applicant’s qualifications first should always be part of the process. Preparing for this important step long beforehand is the key.

Are you ready or do you have any questions? Contact API Today, we are here to help!

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Sunday, February 20, 2022

Discover why doing Employment Background Checks is More Important than ever!

It is not easy to find the right employee, especially for a Small Business!

Hiring someone with the right skills, experience, and “fit” is, of course, essential. They need to not only be able to do the job, but to do it well.

But finding that talented candidate is not enough. They also need to be a safe and reliable hire. One that will not jeopardize the safety of your company’s existing employees, your customers, or your assets. 

And the key to accomplishing this goal is by doing a sound Employment Background Check!

When you screen your potential new hires, you are not only making a cost-effective and sound business decision, you are protecting your business reputation. And here are 4 reasons why......

  1. Small Businesses have limited budget for hiring and training
  2. The more “intimate setting” of a Small Business requires safer hires
  3. Background Checks help Small Businesses avoid litigation
  4. Small Businesses rely heavily on their reputation

“Your customers rely on your honesty and integrity, and will keep doing business with you because of it. Having unsafe employees can ruin that reputation. If your company is not taking the time to hire wisely, customers will notice. If your reputation is ruined or tainted by the actions of your employees, it is hard to bounce back. Small Businesses especially have to be vigilant in protecting the good reputation they have built.

By using Background Checks, Small Businesses can avoid making many of these missteps”. 

Find out more in “4 Reasons Why Small Businesses Need to use Background Checks”!

The question then becomes ~ what is the best way to get the quality background check you need?

You may find it tempting to simply go online and use the first "instant" background check website you see. But that would be a mistake!

“You see them everywhere. Ads touting “totally free”, “instant”, or "low cost" background checks. They all promise to get you information on anyone at any time.

Just do an online search for “Background Checks” and you will see what we mean. Over 40 million results pop up from “$9.83 for Unlimited Searches”, “Background Checks - Search for Free!”, to our personal favorite, “Instant Background Checks - 100% Free”! Who wouldn’t be intrigued?

And if you are hiring for your small business while trying to work within a budget and pressed for time, then you might be tempted to give it a try. But take our advice, and Stop Right There!”.

That online background check is simply not enough. It is essential that you take an all-important "Second Step". 

And that step, additional verification, is where a real, quality Background Check shines. Additional verification is vital in ensuring that you get the accurate and up-to-date information you need.

Checking any information found through a database search against real court records is simply good business. It is the single best way to determine whether any record found actually belongs to your subject.

Court records will also be more complete. They will contain identifying information, such as date of birth, of the subject. The court record will also list details of the charges, final disposition, and sentence. If no disposition is listed, then that additional verification will determine if it is an active case where no disposition is yet recorded. Online Databases are often missing the information you need and that can result in major holes in your report.

The bottom line is this ~ there is a definite difference between an Online Database search and the kind of information a real Background Background check will provide.

Find out more about the importance of going “directly to the source” when doing your employment background check here!

When it comes to your business reputation it is vital that you protect it, and that includes making safe hires, and using the right background check company to help you do it!

“It takes a significant time and resources to build a strong reputation and just moments to ruin it. How can people trust that the company will keep them safe if they cannot trust who is being sent into their homes. How can other employees feel safe if they are working next to someone they cannot trust? The loss of control is scary to consider. A person’s position in the company could be threatened because of the actions of another person who wasn’t properly vetted.”

That is why it is so important to know When and How to pick the right Background Check company for you!

“Our advice? The best time to contact us, or any screening company, is long BEFORE you ever need to hire!

Many companies get this backwards. They realize they need to hire, then scramble to find someone to help them screen their applicants ~ or worse, forgo the background check all together.

Meeting with potential background check companies before hand, and choosing the one best for you, will make your hiring process much smoother and more successful!

A good background check company will help you put in place all the steps you need to follow well in advance. This may start with the job descriptions for each position within your company (this is something that we have helped clients with in the past), and should also include advising you on your  employment applications.  

They will also make sure your release forms are compliant, or supply you with one of their own, along with explaining employee rights when it comes to background checks, adverse action letters, etc.

Connecting with your background check company early also gives you ample time to ask any questions you may have about the employment screening process. There should never be any confusion about how and why you are using background checks in your hiring practices.

Going the extra mile to make sure you are completely comfortable with the entire process is the goal of every good screening service ~ and this is especially important to Small Business.

With limited budgets and the settings that often result in close contact among employees and customers, hiring safely is more important than ever. “

You should choose a company that:

  • focuses on your needs
  • uses direct sources for their information
  • is willing to take the time necessary to do their job right
  • understands compliance issues
  • does not promise prices that are “too good to be true”

Outsourcing your employment background checks is simply good business. It will give you access to their knowledge and experience, keep you updated on compliance issues, will help you keep your candidate and employee information confidential and protected, act as a barrier against discrimination claims, and, most importantly, save you time, money, and resources.

Find out more about When and How to choose the best Background Check company for you here!

Making sure your new hires are going to be an asset to your Small Business is vital ~ and doing a sound background check on them first goes a long way towards achieving that goal. And the time to start is now! 

So, before you hire your next employee, Contact Us. We can answer your Background Check questions and help you hire safely and effectively for your Small Business!

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Sunday, January 23, 2022

Our Most Popular Articles of 2021


Every year we take stock of the articles we posted. We take note of what topics resonated with our readers and which fell flat. We also discover trends and areas of interest that help us write articles for the upcoming year. 

This year is no different!

Here are our Top 5 most popular blog posts of 2021……..

Not surprisingly, our two most read articles centered on the effects of COVID and hiring.

In, “Can COVID delay your Background Checks?” we focused on the very real problem in getting timely background check results due to closures, limited working hours, and a reduced workforce.

“There is no doubt that the effects of the COVID pandemic have caused problems for businesses. It has impacted employees, customers, and a businesses bottom line. And one of these problems is potential delays to employment background checks".

Factors than can delay your background check due to the COVID pandemic include:

  • Court closures and limited court and records staff may delay receiving case records needed for criminal and civil reports
  • Limited Staff and Work from home employees can make it hard to reach anyone to verify the information you need  
  • Work from home employees may not have ready access to the files containing the information required 
  • Business you are trying to reach may be shut down or their hours limited

Learn more about the effects of COVID and other factors on your employment background checks here!

Our next popular article looked into why many companies are having a problem finding new hires. 

In “Need to Hire but ‘No one wants to Work'? The problem might not be what you think!”, we shared what employers need to focus on to attract the employees they need!

“If you find that your business is facing the "I need to hire but no one is applying" dilemma, instead of throwing in the towel, you need to do this instead ~ take a good hard look at what you and your business are offering!

Be honest with yourself……

  • Before the pandemic hit did you have a high employee turnover?
  • Despite your company earning increasing business profits, did your employees’ wages remain stagnant?
  • Did you ignore or refuse to offer incentives such as good benefits and perks to attract and retain good workers? 

If the answers to any of these questions is "yes", then the next question becomes….What can you do now?

This is the time to change your tactics, and that starts with doing the following….

  • Get the Word Out
  • Use the Employees you have to Recruit new ones
  • Offer bonuses, better pay and incentives

Check out the entire article to find out more!

Another article that clearly resonated, especially with employers, was “Learn how You can use your Existing Employees to help you Hire!”.

Employers are always looking for ways to attract applicants. However, one resource they often overlook is their current employees!

“Using your existing workforce as a resource simply makes good business sense. They are intimately aware of what is needed to do the jobs within your company and they also understand the inner workings of the team.

So how exactly can they help you find and train the new hire you need?

Here are some tips to help ~

Reach out to your employees, especially your best and brightest. Talk to them. Find out more about what skills and talents are needed to help your company grow and succeed. Learn where your workforce is lacking and where it needs help. Really listen to what they have to say. Their input will be invaluable not only in recruiting but when it comes time to make a job offer.

Ask them to refer other like-minded, smart and hard-working individuals to the business to supplement your recruiting efforts. Sometimes your current employees are your best resource for finding qualified candidates who can help improve your business”.

Read the entire article for more tips!

The following article was popular among Job Seekers! 

Do Companies contact Current Employers when doing a Background Check?” focused on the common fear that a current employer will find out they are looking for a new job!

“There is no doubt that job applicants have a valid concern when it comes to their current employer finding out they are looking elsewhere. The chance that their current job may be put in jeopardy, without another offer and acceptance in hand, is bound to cause angst. That is why it is so important to know the facts first”.

As a rule, companies do not contact current employers. They understand the very real problem that can create for their applicants. But past employers are another story!

That is why it is best to be prepared!

Check out our entire article here to find out what you need to know before you apply!

Both Employers and Job Seekers found our final top article on “Ageism” relevant, “Ageism in the Workplace ~ Discover why you need to Hire and Retain Older Workers”. 

“The fact is, rather than retire at age 65, more older Americans are remaining in or returning to the workforce. Some are continuing to work due to longer life expectancies, health expenses or financial insecurity. Others simply enjoy the social interaction and the fulfillment and sense of identity work provides. In order to succeed, it is vital that your workplace embrace them. Is your company ready?”.

It is important that your company show a strong dedication to hiring for qualifications and fitness for the job no matter the age, sex, race, religion, or sexual orientation of your applicants. 

You can accomplish this by:

  • Using age-inclusive language in your hiring and employment practices, including job postings.
  • Focusing on establishing benefits that take into consideration the wants and needs of your diverse workforce.
  • Creating a welcoming and innovative working environment that encourages collaboration.

Discover how eliminating Ageism in your workplace will encourage a variety of applicants and help your business by checking out the full article by clicking on the link above!

This rounds out our Top Blog Posts of 2021! For more articles focused on you and your Small Business, be sure to visit our site hereAnd if you have questions or topics you would like to see covered in the coming year, please Contact Us or comment on this article. We would love to hear from you!

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We can help you hire right and grow your business. Visit our site to learn more about Our Services and About Us.

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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Ageism in the Workplace ~ Discover Why you need to Hire and Retain Older Workers

Is Your Company Ready to Embrace Older Workers?

Did You Know……

"According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about 40 percent of people ages 55 and older were working or actively looking for work in 2014. That number, known as a labor force participation rate, is expected to increase fastest for the oldest segments of the population —most notably, people ages 65 to 74 —through 2024k with an 86% increase in workers  over 75 . In comparison, participation rates for most other age groups in the labor force aren’t projected to change much over 5% in the 2014–24 decade". Source1

What does this surge in older workers and job applicants mean for today’s workplace?

When it comes to hiring and the workplace, companies need to do what they can to be fair and equitable ~ not just in dealing with traditional “protected classes”, but also in how they handle older job applicants and employees once they are part of your workforce.

The question is ~ are your company’s hiring and employment practices up to the task?

Is “Ageism” the new Discrimination? “Tweet This”!

According to recent studies by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and many others, “Age discrimination is alive and well in the digital age, despite 50 years of laws intended to protect older Americans’ right to work. In fact, it’s thriving, with 20,857 such complaints filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2016 alone, AARP states on its website.

A recent study that looked at more than 40,000 job applicant profiles found statistical evidence of age discrimination in hiring—discrimination against both women and men. Older applicants—those 64 to 66 years of age—experience more age discrimination than middle-age applicants ages 49 to 51, while women—especially older women, even those of middle age—experience more age discrimination in hiring than men do, the study indicated.” Source2

Thanks to better healthcare and lifestyle changes, people are living longer than ever before. Many are more active and vital long past their 60s and they want to keep doing what they love ~ and for some, that means continuing to work, or even embarking on a new career!

But instead of being welcomed and encouraged, many are being faced with a subtle roadblock ~ their age is being held against them.

“A new data analysis by ProPublica and the Urban Institute shows more than half of older U.S. workers are pushed out of longtime jobs before they choose to retire, suffering financial damage that is often irreversible.” Source3

And Ageism is worse in some industries more than others.

Over 40% of Tech Workers worry about Ageism

“Not only do employees witness an imbalance in age representation, but it is also causing anxiety among some workers.

Our survey of tech workers found that close to half of respondents (43%) worry about losing their job because of their age. Even more troubling, nearly one 5th (18%) say they worry about it “all the time.”.

It’s there in the cliched but widespread perception that employees need to be young to have a good grasp of the latest technology. And it’s there in startup cultures that push for long hours and low pay, which are hardly friendly to older workers with families. And as firms battle to attract young talent with ever more extravagant perks, they can unintentionally create an environment and culture that excludes older workers".

The fact remains that “retirement” is no longer at 62 or even 65 for a variety of reasons.

Some may find that they simply can’t afford to retire. Lack of pensions, rising healthcare and insurance costs, and increasing taxes all can factor into this decision to keep working.

Others simply love what they do. Their career gives them personal satisfaction and speaks to their desire to stay relevant and productive.

Now it’s time to get employers on board.

Employers Lose when they won’t Hire Older Workers! “Tweet This”

While many companies have anti-discrimination policies in place that include age, it often becomes lost in the day to day. The time is now for employers to Practice what you Preach! 

Your actions, especially when it comes to hiring, must follow the guidelines both in your policy and those that exist within local, county, state, and federal laws.

It is important that you show a strong dedication to hiring for qualifications and fitness for the job no matter the age, sex, race, religion, or sexual orientation of your applicants. 

You can accomplish this by:

  • Using age-inclusive language in your hiring and employment practices, including job postings.
  • Focusing on establishing benefits that take into consideration the wants and needs of your diverse workforce.
  • Creating a welcoming and innovative working environment that encourages collaboration.

“In order to really succeed in creating an innovative and welcoming environment, you (companies) need a mixed workforce. Having both experienced and skilled employees at all levels is key.

Creating an atmosphere where each generation of employees can learn from the other is one that will thrive and prosper. This results in the best of both worlds ~ a marriage between the tried and true and the up and coming.

This type of culture embraces experience while recognizing the benefits of introducing new talent and ideas. It is also the perfect way of establishing a strong company succession plan ~ something that every successful company needs”; excerpt from “Hiring? What You Should Do Now to Attract the New Hires You Need!”.

Do so, and this is what you will gain ~ a diverse group of employees that provide much needed skills, knowledge, and experience to your workplace.

In addition, building a diverse workforce is an amazing way to attract and retain the best hires.

It creates an environment filled with varying ideas, skills, and experience. The key is to get your diverse employees working as a team and sharing their knowledge and skills to better themselves and your company.

A great way to start is to establish a strong Mentoring Program.

Mentoring allows employees of different ages and backgrounds a better chance to know and learn from each other.

“While some businesses already understand the benefits of a strong internal Mentoring program, not all are as yet so savvy".

Business owners would be wise to embrace the idea of Mentoring. It is a great way to “onboard” new hires, especially those who have recently graduated and interns just entering the workforce. It can also be valuable as a way to get existing employees ready for promotion.” 

Establishing mentoring relationships between diverse employees, and that includes different ages, helps spread your employees’ knowledge and skill pool throughout your workforce!

Learn more about the value of Mentoring in your workplace in “Are You Ready to be a Mentor?”.

The fact is, rather than retire at age 65, more older Americans are remaining in or returning to the workforce. Some are continuing to work due to longer life expectancies, health expenses or financial insecurity. Others simply enjoy the social interaction and the fulfillment and sense of identity work provides.

In order to succeed, it is vital that your workplace embrace them. Is your company ready?

Authored by     

API can help you hire safely and effectively. Contact Us Today to find out how!

Learn more About Us, Our Services, and what Our Happy Clients have to say!

Source 1* Older Workers: Labor Force Trends 

Source 2* Despite Laws intended to Prevent it, Age Discrimination ‘Alive and Well 

Source 3* If You're over 50, Chances are the decision to Leave a Job won't be Yours

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Discover why Background Checks on Volunteers are just as important as Screening New Hires!

Background checks on volunteers are just as important to your company as screening new hires!

Screening your Volunteers, just like you do potential employees, is simply good business. It helps promote increased workplace safety, productivity, and customer service ~ all essential to your business!

Volunteers are often critical to the success of many organizationsWith tight budgets to hire full or even part-time employees, along with a vast amount of job openings in our present market not yet being filled, volunteers take up the slack. They spend countless hours coaching youth sports, delivering meals to the needy, mentoring and tutoring children, and so many more things to help the community and businesses around them.

Volunteers do these things as a way to give back and help others. They believe in making a difference and in being a good citizen. Their goal is to help those around them, and that often includes our children, elderly, and disabled.  

However, there have also been horror stories about the danger some of these volunteers have posed. Reports of convicted abusers who are found volunteering as coaches or in child care are an obvious cause for concern.

Today, more than ever, organizations who use volunteers need to address this issue. Protecting the very people they are trying to help must be a priority. This is where screening volunteers comes in.

While conducting volunteer background checks is vital, these organizations do not want to alienate these volunteers in the process. Concerns that background checks will violate their privacy and that these organizations will not protect their personal information can arise.

This can be a delicate balancing act. Organizations are faced with the need to weed out unsafe volunteers without losing any of the loyal and dedicated volunteers they need. 

In the meantime, many states have passed, or are in the process of passing, legislation that mandates background checks on any one who comes in “direct contact” with our children or other members of our vulnerable populations.

But questions continue….

  • What exactly is “direct contact”? 
  • Does it cover anyone who is even in the same room as children, the elderly, or disabled? 
  • Or does it only pertain to those who have unsupervised contact?  
  • Who pays the fees associated with these background checks? 
  • Is it cost prohibitive for organizations, especially non-profits, to cover the cost? 
  • Or is it an undue burden on volunteers who are asked to pay for it themselves? 
  • What exactly should be checked? Since no standard exists, what is best practice?
  • What offenses should disqualify someone from volunteering?
  • What can be done to minimize a volunteer’s objections to a background check?    

This can all be very confusing for anyone who uses volunteers.  

In reality, most organizations run some type of background check on their volunteers. These background checks are run for the same reasons as they would be on any employee ~ to keep out anyone who is unsafe.  

But while there may be some who are wary of pre-employment background checks, volunteers are often even more put off by the idea.

Long-time volunteers may object to a new screening policy after years of giving their time and energy to an organization. While those considering volunteering for the first time might be turned off from even applying.

Many are understandably worried about their personal information being leaked. Volunteers may also believe that a new screening policy creates an atmosphere of distrust. 

But the bottom line is this ~ Volunteers who work with Children, the Elderly, or any vulnerable population need Background Checks.

Our top priority should be the Safety of our Children, the Elderly, and our Vulnerable! “Tweet This”

Organizations can take definite steps to achieve this goal. It is possible to provide a safe and productive environment for the population you serve while mitigating the concerns of your volunteers.

To do this, Organizations Need to:

Create a Written Volunteer Screening Policy ~ This policy should outline the screening procedures used and be included in your organization’s written policies. Make sure that everyone is fully informed of your policy and publish it both in your written materials and online for all to clearly see.

Provide Job Descriptions for Every Position within Your Organization ~ This should include exactly what is required of each volunteer who fills the position. Being clear on this up front sets expectations and boundaries. It is also a great way of determining what needs to be checked during screening by fitting the scope of the check to the job duties. Find out more  in  “One Size Does Not Fit All ~ Why You Need to Fit the BG Check to the Job!”.   

Identify the Background Check Fees & Who is Responsible for Paying ThemState clearly whether these fees are to be paid fully by your organization, fully by the volunteer, or by a combination of the two. Being up front is the best way to avoid surprises.

Obtain an Application and Signed Release for All Volunteers The application should include the potential volunteer’s full name, any previous names used, addresses for the past 7 years, references, and a copy of their photo ID. It is important that you get this application from each volunteer and keep it in a secure file.

This also goes for a signed release form. This form both notifies a volunteer that a background check will be performed and documents their consent. Requiring this authorization helps protect your organization. 

Establish Procedures to Review the Volunteer’s Application ~ In reviewing the application, look for inconsistencies in the information listed. Check references and try to develop references not listed. Any questionable information found during this process needs to be documented. It is also important to be clear that false statements on the application is cause for disqualification as a volunteer. Taking the time necessary to be diligent here is an important step in making sure you identify possibly problematic volunteers.  

Clearly Identify Which Criminal Offenses Would Disqualify a Volunteer ~ While it is important that each organization determine for themselves what offenses will prohibit someone from volunteering, the following criminal offenses should be taken seriously and result in automatic  disqualification:

  • Child, Elderly, or other types of Abuse or Domestic Violence Convictions
  • Sex Offenses & Sexual Misconduct Convictions
  • Violent Felony Convictions

Although the following offenses may not be grounds for immediate disqualification ~ Pending Criminal Cases, Arrests, and Misdemeanors within the past 7 years ~ they should also be noted.

Document All Information Obtained During the Screening Process & All Actions Taken ~ Be sure to keep a written log documenting what was checked, when it was checked, and what action was taken because of the information obtained. It is important to keep a clear and concise record of any decision you make regarding each of your volunteers.

Create a Privacy and Personal Information Policy ~ Protection of sensitive, personal information should be a priority. All the information obtained on each volunteer, from the application, application review, and the criminal background check, must be kept completely confidential. It is good practice to keep the application review results and criminal check histories separate from the general volunteer files. These should only be accessible to authorized personnel.    

We need to remember that Volunteers are important. They provide much needed man power to many organizations and their contributions cannot be minimized. However, that does not mean that you should take any volunteer into your organization blindly. 

Making sure they do not pose a potential problem to those you serve is priority number one. And putting sound screening procedures in place is a great start. Making sure your volunteers understand why these checks are necessary is key.   

Contact API today! We can help you create a sound background check policy and provide the services you need to hire safely and effectively!

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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Learn How You can use Your Existing Employees to Help you Hire

Having the right employees is crucial to the success of your business.

They help keep your business running smoothly and your customers happy.

But did you know that they can also be an important tool when it comes time for you to hire?

Using your existing workforce as a resource simply makes good business sense. They are intimately aware of what is needed to do the jobs within your company and they also understand the inner workings of the team.

So how exactly can they help you find and train the new hire you need?

Here are some tips to help ~

  • Reach out to your employees, especially your best and brightest. Talk to them. Find out more about what skills and talents are needed to help your company grow and succeed. Learn where your workforce is lacking and where it needs help.
  • Really listen to what they have to say. Their input will be invaluable not only in recruiting but when it comes time to make a job offer.
  • Ask them to refer other like-minded, smart and hard-working individuals to the business to supplement your recruiting efforts. Sometimes your current employees are your best resource for finding qualified candidates who can help improve your business.

Employee Referrals

Does your company have an Employee Referral Program? If not, that is a change you should definitely consider making!

Employee Referral programs are good for your business and especially for finding great new hires. Your employees are intimately aware of the inner working of your company and your company’s needs. They also know the company culture and who will fit in and who will not. 

When it comes to getting the best referrals, start by asking your best and most skilled employees. Most likely they will have among their friends and acquaintances others who possess the same qualities that make these employees so valuable.

Getting referrals from your existing employees has multiple benefits. It is a great way to both reward your employees for their viable referrals and keep them happy with your new hires. And it will also help you find the right person for the job.

Discover more hiring tips in “Is it Time to Change your Hiring Practices”.

Engaged and Appreciated Employees are your best Company Ambassadors! “Tweet This”!

You should also encourage your employees to “talk up” your businessRecommend that they share information about their job and your company with their family, friends, and even acquaintances. Any time your employees are at social events it presents an opportunity. 

This doesn’t mean you want them sharing false praises or that you expect them to endlessly talk about their jobs. It simply means that if your employees are happy then they will want to help spread the word!

Another way your employees can help you hire is to regularly engage with your brand on social media.

Encourage them to:

  • Like and Follow your social accounts, including your blog.
  • Ask others in their circle to also Like and Follow your accounts
  • Like, Share, Retweet, and Comment on your company posts
  • Post reviews and comments on your social sites

If you have a blog, you may even consider asking your employees to write a guest post. It can be on anything from their job, a company event, or even an upcoming product or service release. The key is for them to be a part of creating content and to provide them the pride of authorship. You may also consider a regular series of articles that highlight your staff.

No matter what you choose, including your employees on your company blog and encouraging them to engage with your company social media simply increases your reach and online visibility ~ all which can make your business attractive to potential new hires.

But before you expect your employees to help you advertise your company and find new hires, you need to take a good look at how they truly feel about you and your company. How effective and interested your employees are in helping you find quality hires all hinges on how you treat them in the first place!

That is why it is so important that your first goal should be on training, encouraging, and retaining your best existing employees.

5 Retention Tips for Keeping Top Talent

Help Your New Employee Define and Reach Their GoalsHelp them to identify where they want to go and what steps are necessary to get them there. Just determining their goals is not enough. You need to provide them with a realistic set of steps to help them achieve those goals. The best employees are never satisfied. This is what makes them high achievers.

Create an Environment that Encourages SuccessMake sure your company is a place that helps them reach their goals or is a significant stop along the way. Be the place where they are able to achieve a major milestone in their career. Be the company that discovered their talents and nurtured those talents.  This will bring success to them and to your company.

Enable Your Employees to Develop New and Marketable Skills ~ Encourage your team to share their own abilities and allow them to learn from each other. This helps you create well-rounded and skilled employees. It also promotes a greater sense of “team” and a more productive work environment.  Also provide opportunities to attend interesting and informative workshops and conferences. The chance to absorb industry knowledge and network is invaluable.

Set Specific GoalsLay out an action plan with a specific time frame for completion. Provide them with all the resources necessary to achieve those action plan goals. Make sure you evaluate their progress and increase their responsibility upon successful completion. Your performance reviews should provide REAL FEEDBACK. Discuss where they are, where they need to head, and how they can get there. This keeps your workforce constantly improving and growing.

Provide Real Opportunity to AdvanceGive your employees the chance to EARN high level duties and even allow them to outgrow your company if necessary! Your valuable employees need to know you promote from within.  They need to feel they have a real future at your company.  However, if they have truly achieved their highest potential with you, provide them with the positive, helpful references they have earned and deserve. Remember, it is good to “Pay it Forward!”.

Find more tips on employee retention here!

It is also important that your employees are engaged and invested in your business. Make sure you really listen to their suggestions, problems, and concerns. Create an open line of communication where they feel comfortable approaching you and their opinion is valued.

Hold open brainstorming sessions to deal with, or even better, to prevent problems. Ask them for ideas and listen without judgment, while honing in on and fine tuning their best suggestions. Then it is important that you act on them. This will help your employees feel valued, appreciated, and truly part of a team.

The bottom line is this ~ if you’re going to depend on your employees to help you find and retain good hires, then they have to be invested in your company. And if you treat them well they will be happy to help your business thrive.

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Sunday, May 23, 2021

Need to Hire but "No one wants to Work"? The problem might not be what you think!

Need to Hire but it seems like “No one Wants to Work”? The problem might not be what you think!

Many businesses are in the same boat. They are trying to re-start their business after the pandemic closures and restrictions…and that often means hiring employees to help. But now they are facing a new problem they can’t find the workers they need because no one is applying!

The question then becomes Why?

Many believe that “no one needs to work because of all the government ‘handouts’ and increased employment benefits” and “since they removed the requirement that you have to look for work to receive those benefits, why work?”.  But the most common is that no one is applying for all the jobs out there because they are simply lazy. 

And while there will always be people who fit those descriptions…the truth is that the real answer may not be due to any of those things!

If you find that your business is facing the "I need to hire but no one is applying" dilemma, instead of throwing in the towel, you need to do this instead ~ take a good hard look at what you and your business are offering!

Be honest with yourself……

  • Before the pandemic hit did you have a high employee turnover?
  • Despite your company earning increasing business profits, did your employees’ wages remain stagnant?
  • Did you ignore or refuse to offer incentives such as good benefits and perks to attract and retain good workers? 

If the answers to any of these questions is yes, then the next question becomes….What can you do now?

This is the time to change your tactics, and that starts with doing the following….

Get the word out ~ Post your job opening on social media sites, jobs groups, and in newspapers. Even check out local trade schools, high schools, and community colleges. The more people that know you are hiring, the better.

Use the employees you do have to recruit new ones ~ Ask them to look at their family, friends, and social connections for potential new hires. Long-term employees know the ins and outs of your workplace. They know who will “fit”, what kind of skills you need, and the type of person who will be an asset. It simply makes good business sense to use them as a resource.

No one is applying for your job openings? Do this now! "Tweet this"

Offer sign on bonuses, better pay, perks, time off, and other incentivesAccording to a recent article from CBSLocal, “Over and over again companies just don’t recognize and value their employees and they underpay, not recognizing the cost of not having well trained and well knowledgeable employees. And high turnover is an expense too,” said Point Park Professor Elaine Luther. With the bounce back in business, Luther said people are looking for a job where they feel safe, valued and can make a livable wage”.

Take a look at your finances and resources and offer whatever you can. Get creative. And remember, it is not always about the money. 

"While it is true that some small companies may not be able to offer the salary associated with working for big business, they can offer many other things that will create a valuable working experience.   

Working for a Small Business can offer you (job seekers) something different. 

By nature, a small business atmosphere is more hands-on and close knit. Employees have a much more tangible stake in the success of the company and often have a chance for greater input. Even flexibility of work hours, telecommuting, and promotions are often part of the small business culture.

The success of a small company relies on flexibility. They depend upon being able to adapt quickly to changing external and internal forces. And their employees can learn a lot from this ever-changing environment. 

Small business employees have the opportunity to learn many roles. Strict adherence to job titles and work responsibilities is not often practical for companies with fewer employees. This allows for more job responsibilities and the chance to really make a difference ~ all of which is a great resume and career builder.

The collaborative and nurturing characteristics of small business are also a plus for employees. It is a chance to really get their voice heard and to get their ideas implemented much sooner and more often than will occur in a larger company. And as small businesses slowly start recovering from the effects of the pandemic and are once again hiring to bolster their workforce, it is more important than ever to keep them on your job search radar.

Learn more about attracting job seekers to your small business here!

Most importantly, take a look at yourself and your management staff ~ do you set the tone and atmosphere that makes your employees want to work for you and achieve?

  • Is your “management style” one that treats people with respect? 
  • Do you reward hard work? 
  • Do you welcome ideas and input from your employees? 
  • Is your company a place where employees not only achieve company goals but their own goals as well?

Creating an atmosphere where your employees feel valued is key. And it will make your company much more attractive to job seekers as well!

Being critical in assessing how your business looks to potential employees will go a long way towards getting the quality new hires you need. Simply put ~ Make your business a place people want to work. 

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Saturday, October 3, 2020

5 Tips to Help You Hire and Manage Remotely

Things have changed ~ companies have had to learn to alter the way they do business, work from home has increased, and doing many things “virtually” is suddenly the norm.
How you hire and manage employees needs to change too!
The days of face to face rounds of interviews and in-office onboarding, collaboration, and meetings are, for the most part, on hold. In fact, the entire hiring process may now be done virtually and your new hire may work entirely remotely. In fact, you may never have the opportunity to actually meet them “in person” at all before or even after they are hired !

All of this most likely seems strange, difficult, and daunting.

But that doesn’t mean hiring and managing remotely can’t be done and done right. Just because the way you did things in the past may not work in today’s world, there are still some constants that will keep you successful and on track.

And the most important constant is to never go in without a plan. 

Having a sound Hiring Process is now, and will always be, a key component in finding the best new employee for your business.

A good Hiring plan should consider these common areas: 
When it comes to Recruiting, it is all about reaching and attracting the right applicants ~ and this all starts with writing the perfect Job Description.

Social Media
Using your social media accounts to recruit and hire is a great way to reach a large amount of potential new hires in a minimal amount of time.

Employee Referrals
If you don’t have an Employee Referral program, start one now! Your best employees already know what it takes to be productive and successful within your company culture. So why not let them help you find their next co-worker?

Employment Background Check 
The Employment Background check should include verification of anything listed in the applicant’s resume along with a check of their online presence.

Discover more about how to develop a good hiring process and how to update it when needed in “Is it Time to Change Your Hiring Practices?”.

But no matter how hard you have worked to develop a hiring process that met your needs in the past, the pandemic has now thrown you a curve ball. Hiring and even working remotely is now part of the new norm. 
Are your existing hiring practices up to the task?

While it may be tempting to just start over and completely change the way you hire, this is not in your best interests. Instead, it makes sense to build upon your existing hiring plan and make some tweaks to meet today’s needs!

How to Successfully Hire and Manage Remote Workers “Tweet This”

And taking a look at these areas is a great way to start!

Candidate Communication ~ Communicating with your top candidates is more important than ever. Be ready to provide as much information as possible to your potential choices. Ask them how they prefer to be reached - email, text, phone, etc. Keep them apprised of where they are in the hiring process and what they can expect next. The key here is complete transparency and open communication. This will improve your entire candidate experience, ensure they are receiving the information they need, and give them a favorable impression of you and your company!

The Interview ~ How you interview can have a big impact your candidate’s experience. Start by setting up automated interview scheduling. This allows the candidate to select the time that best works for them out of the options that work for you. Whenever possible, choose video interviewing over interviewing by phone. Video allows you and the applicant the visuals needed to “read” each other. There is a lot that can be learned through eye contact, facial expressions, and even their confidence and demeanor. It is also a great way to start building that connection you need moving forward.

The Employment Background Check ~ Whether your employee works remotely or on location, it is vital to do an employment background check. Screening potential new hires is a great way to verify their honesty, know whether they have the skills and education to do the job, and that hiring them will not damage your company’s reputation ~ and none of this changes simply because your new hire may work remotely! 

Employment Background Checks are even more important for a Small Business!

“When it comes time to hire, many small businesses make the biggest mistake they can make ~ they skip the Background Check! Instead of approaching hiring with caution, they think that simply because they are a small business, screening their applicants before hiring them isn’t necessary. As a small business owner it is important to hire carefully, not in haste”. 

The consequences of making a bad hire on your business can have a lasting impact. It can harm you brand and even put your business, your other employees, and even your customers in jeopardy.

Learn more about the ramifications of making a bad hire here!

In order for the screening process to run smoothly, it is important to be completely transparent. Make sure the applicant knows exactly what you will be checking, what information they should be ready to provide, and that nothing will go forward until they are informed of their rights and sign a release allowing the background check. How you handle this stage of your hiring process can leave a lasting impression on your applicant. Make sure it is a good one!

The Need to Build a Relationship ~ In a virtual environment, everyone needs to work harder to connect. New hires need to establish a relationship to the company and your other employees. They also need to become familiar with their new job and get a real feel for your company culture. All of this was much easier before working from home became the new norm. That is why you need to develop a Remote Onboarding plan to fill the gap. 

Your Remote Onboarding plan must cover everything from HR tasks like filling out required forms, assigning company computers and phones, and even giving out initial work assignments ~ all of which can seem overwhelming to any new hire.

Managers need to take the lead and make the process as positive as possible. Set realistic goals for the completion of tasks and be sure to be available to answer any questions along the way. 

The Need to Communicate and Collaborate ~ New hires need to feel part of the team. Introductions to co-workers and learning the ins and outs of their new position within the company is vital to their success and satisfaction, and this was much easier when everyone worked on-site! 

Once again, it is up to the managers and trusted current employees to make this happen. Plan one-on-one or even small group virtual meetings to convey expectations, answer questions, and create a way for your new hire to simply get to know other members of the team. These interactions are key to helping your new hire build strong and more satisfactory work relationships.

Establishing a virtual mentoring or “buddy” program is also a great way to help your new hire get up to speed and feel part of your organization. 

The Need to “Socialize" ~ Being “social” was easy to do when everyone worked in the same place, but now it requires more creativity to accomplish. 

Establishing regular virtual lunches, group coffee breaks, and even small group “breakaways” are all ways to encourage your new hire to feel welcome and help them build the relationships with other employees they need. It will also help your existing employees feel the connections they used to enjoy in the workplace. All will help you build and develop strong team work and employee satisfaction.

The bottom line is this.....our world has changed. Face to face communication is no longer the norm and many companies have more remote workers than ever before. Learning how to adapt your Hiring and Management Practices to accommodate these changes is key. It will help you not only keep your company moving forward but will also help you hire and retain the quality employees you need to succeed!
Is Your Company Ready?

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